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[sluhv-uh n-lee] /ˈslʌv ən li/
adjective, slovenlier, slovenliest.
untidy or unclean in appearance or habits.
characteristic of a sloven; slipshod:
slovenly work.
in an untidy, careless, or slipshod manner.
Origin of slovenly
1505-15; sloven + -ly
Related forms
slovenliness, noun
1. sluttish, slatternly. 2. careless, loose, disorderly.
1. neat. 2. careful. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for slovenliness
Historical Examples
  • They left behind vagueness of thought, slovenliness of action; and they encountered pedantic precision.

  • Too little attention to dress and surroundings is slovenliness.

    Practical Ethics William DeWitt Hyde
  • Books were strewn here and there, but there was no slovenliness or untidiness; and, ha!

    My New Curate P.A. Sheehan
  • Griseldas raggedness must not be construed into slovenliness.

    Chaucer for Children Mrs. H. R. Haweis
  • It is due, not to slovenliness, but to the strange places and circumstances under which it has been written.

  • I explained to her what I wanted to do, apologizing for my slovenliness.

    The Long Day Dorothy Richardson
  • slovenliness in construction will completely spoil the appearance of the finished article.

    Rustic Carpentry Paul N. Hasluck
  • slovenliness in planning is as bad as slovenliness in expression.

    Public Speaking Clarence Stratton
  • He did not want to go home to fretfulness, fault-finding, slovenliness, and perpetual criticism.

    The Road to Understanding Eleanor H. Porter
  • The soil, the slovenliness, is washed out of every calling by its touch.

    At Home And Abroad Margaret Fuller Ossoli
British Dictionary definitions for slovenliness


frequently or habitually unclean or untidy
negligent and careless; slipshod: slovenly manners
in a negligent or slovenly manner
Derived Forms
slovenliness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for slovenliness



1510s, "low, base, lewd," later "untidy, dirty" (1560s), from sloven + -ly (1). Related: Slovenliness; also in this sense was slovenry (1540s), which OED reports in common use early 17c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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